Beyonce drops new original song from ‘The Lion King’

LOS ANGELES — Beyonce has dropped a new original song from Disney’s live-action “Lion King.”

The song, “Spirit,” was released Tuesday and should get an Academy-Award push for Academy Award consideration.

The tune comes at a pivotal moment for Nala, the character voiced by Beyonce, in the film that comes out July 18. She also co-wrote the song.

It’s part of an album called “The Lion King: The Gift” that Beyonce is executive producing and performing on along with other artists. It will be released digitally July 11, with the physical album coming July 19.

The collection is a companion to the main “Lion King” soundtrack, which consists mostly of songs from the animated film, along with a new number from Elton John and Tim Rice, who wrote the songs for the original.

Confederate Railroad books Illinois gig after state fair ban

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The country rock band whose logo with Confederate flags got it banned from a southern Illinois state fair will perform at a nearby private venue.

Confederate Railroad will play Sept. 5 at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion.

The band was removed from the DuQuoin State Fair’s Aug. 27 Grandstand lineup last week by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration.

Shad Zimbro is Black Diamond Harley-Davidson co-owner. He said booking Confederate Railroad was not a matter of showing anyone up but simply giving southern Illinois fans the show they wanted.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith launch media venture

LOS ANGELES — Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith are looking to expand their brands under a new corporate umbrella.

The Hollywood power couple on Wednesday announced the launch of a new media venture.

According to a statement, Westbrook Inc. will be a cross-platform holding company “formed to execute the Smith family’s global content and commerce business strategy.”

Westbrook Studios will serve as the studio home to all new premium TV and motion picture projects. It currently serves “Red Table Talk,” the Facebook Watch series featuring Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris.

The company will also develop projects as starring vehicles for Will Smith.

The Associated Press

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